Flood Damaged Vehicles on the Market

by Kelly Choate on September 27, 2011 at 6:56 am

Recent hurricanes have caused severe flooding all over the country, and if you’re in the market for a used car, you should know how to spot a vehicle with water damage.

The car’s electrical system is particularly vulnerable to flood damage.  Aamco service manager Russell Evans said engine computers and sensors can sometimes be salvaged, but problems caused by corrosion and oxidation may occur months after the flood.

"On the bottom of the vehicles, there are drain plugs that go into the floor panels, and we look to see if those have been removed," said Evans.  "If they’ve been removed, that’s a good sign that there’s been water."

Other warning signs are carpet odor, rust behind the dashboard and under the seats, and a water line on the headlights.  Evans said it’s risky to rely on Carfax vehicle history reports.

"When you have a rental company, it’s self-insured, so they don’t share any of the problems with the car," said Evans.  "None of that information shows up."

Evans said he advises car buyers to ask a certified mechanic to inspect the vehicle before purchasing it.  If you’re interested in this service, you can visit Aamco on Linden Avenue in Zanesville.